Friday, June 28, 2013

Lucia The role of heretical gay Catholics in the destruction of marriage

As millions celebrate today the Supreme Court's striking down of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), many will be giving thanks to Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old plaintiff in the case, and her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan.

What most people will not know, however, is the instrumental role that a few members of the New York City chapter of DignityUSA played in this historic moment.

DignityUSA is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics that was formally expelled by the Roman Catholic church in 1986 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Among the NYC chapter's many members is Brendan Fay, an Irish-born activist and filmmaker who lives in Queens with his husband, Tom Moulton.

After DOMA was signed into law in 1996, Fay and his friend and fellow activist Jesus Lebron began working for marriage equality, organizing a rally on the steps of Manhattan's City Hall in February 1998. They continued to organize and participate in rallies, discussions, and sit-ins at the NYC Marriage Bureau, and in Albany and Washington, DC, in the years following.

The whole article goes into more detail as to what was done by some of these Catholic activists to further "Marriage Equality". Just to be clear, we can't really call them representative of the Catholic Church as their group was formally expelled by Pope Benedict Emeritus when he was still a Cardinal. So their group is a heretic group.

Other prominent, so called Catholic gay activists are Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan have done an incredible amount of damage promoting "Marriage Equality" as well. I wonder if they are also members of DignityUSA.

It's made me think about why some Catholics have been at the forefront of the redefinition of marriage. It must have something to do with the consciences of the people, where certain things are denied (ie sinfulness of same-sex activity) and they instead seek to recreate reality so that everything else around them shifts so that the internal discord is matched by the external. Most people would just discard their beliefs rather than force everything around them to change.

Related link: The Catholic Activists Behind Edie Windsor's DOMA Victory ~ Huffington Post

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lucia I am not a good person - don't expect me to be

I certainly try to be good, and I try to be nice and when I can't be I try to do and say nothing, but I don't always succeed. Anyone who thinks that I'm going to be reasonable and nice and easy to talk to in all circumstances is going to be disappointed.

I think differences between the Catholic and Protestant theologies changes our expectations of people, depending on which faith tradition is more a part of how we believe. As I understand it, from the Protestant perspective, one's acts proves how "Christian" one is. If you don't act the part, you aren't a Christian. I think this relates also to the idea of once saved, always saved. If you fall, it just means that you were never saved in the first place, so calling into question a person's Christianity is essentially saying that they not saved.

The Catholic perspective is different, however.  Salvation can be lost by what we do and how we think. We believe any person can be tempted to do evil if the temptation is strong enough, and that any person can consequently lose their salvation, and regained again through Confession.  We pray for the ability to resist temptation, knowing that the grace will be given, however also being aware that our wills and our ability to love are both weak, that our pride is always present, and therefore failure is inevitable, even when we convince ourselves that we are doing the right things at the time.

I definitely have failed this week.

I don't regret linking to Peter Aranyi's post. Obviously reading it is going to be painful for some of the subjects of the post as it's impossible to separate the people from the events, I do get that.  I do also ask though, that I be allowed to

I'm always going to have my own interpretation of what happened this week due to my own experiences, and they will influence the way I look at the issues, that can't be helped. I will try, however, to attribute purer motives to everyone involved, despite what my more paranoid side conjures up for me.

As I have said before, I don't respond well to what I consider to be emotional manipulation.  It's a real button pusher for me, something that is likely to set me off when I think it's being done.  

Hence, I don't like the practice of labeling someone "evil".  A person can do evil acts, or acts which aren't necessarily evil, but have evil consequences, but they themselves cannot be "evil", they can only act in an evil manner.

To move forward, I would like to direct everyone to another one of Peter Aranyi's posts, on the ‘wider factors to consider’ in recent online gagging order, where he links to an article by Steven Price, who points out that the harassment case that is the subject of this post is ‘a radical judgement that bypasses defamation law’. Not being a lawyer, just a mere blogger, I found it instructive.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lucia Private messages regarding recent online harassment case

I will no longer read or respond to private messages or emails that seek to convince me that I'm on the wrong side in this whole issue, or that I am aiding in the harassment, or that I being disrespectful, or the implication being made that I am a bit simple and didn't know what I was doing. Say what you will in public where everyone can see, or don't say it at all.

I am really pissed now, and I'm certainly seeing how this whole thing spiraled out of control in the first place.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lucia The Storm on Thursday

I drove into Wellington from the Coast on Thursday night, leaving home just after 6pm. It was pretty wild, what with the really deep puddles on the motorway that couldn't be seen until you were right in them making it sound as if the car was scraping against something, and the massive tree that fell onto the entire south-bound left lane on Ngauranga Gorge, and the intense wind that just took my breath away from the south, so intense I had to walk backwards into it so that I could breathe. With all of that, we got to our destination of the Cathedral for the yearly special Mass that always happens on the third Thursday of June.

Coming back it wasn't quite so bad, and my husband was driving so I could look around as we drove rather than maintain a death grip on the steering wheel. I managed to warn him of a massive puddle that I did see, but the only thing he could do was take his foot off the accelerator to hit it at a slightly lower speed. Thankfully were were going only 70Ks at the time, or less.

As we passed a primary school near home, we saw the Fire Brigade out in force dealing to a tree that had crashed through the iron fence onto the road. Our house was still intact when we got back, with full power and the trampoline was where we left it, though my neighbours told me that around the time that we were traveling back, the worst of the wind hit our area and they were really worried the tramp might come flying through their window.

It wasn't until Friday night that we experienced power problems with a brownout that destroyed any chance of being able to make dinner as I was planning - so the normal takeaways were sourced as per usual.

Which reminds me, I need to get my gas fireplace serviced so that if the power goes down or out again, we'll at least have heat. I think the ignition needs a good clean or something.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lucia Blogging, Harassment and Freedom of Speech [UPDATE]

Peter Aranyi has written a thought provoking post on a recent court case between two bloggers.

Is this what we want? Internet ‘take down’ and indefinite gagging orders?

Well worth reading, to think about the principles of the issue, not the specifics.

Added the "t" to thought above, and the second part of the last sentence, ie the bolded content.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Andrei Priest Sex Crisis: The Facts!

Lucia Compulsory helmets for scooter riders and Adam and Eve

Last week, an outfit called Safekids called for the Government to enact legislation that would make it mandatory for scooter riders of all ages to wear helmets.

A ten-fold increase in the number of children seriously injuring themselves on push scooters has sparked a call for a law change that would see youngsters made to wear helmets while riding.

Push scooters have become increasingly popular with school-age children over the past two years but the rise has seen a corresponding increase in the number of scooter-related injury claims for children up to 14 years old.

ACC figures show the number of claims has risen from 697 in 2008 to 6474 last year.

The increase has alarmed child safety group Safekids, which is campaigning for the introduction of a compulsory helmet law for scooter users.

Safekids director Ann Weaver said requiring children to wear a helmet would reduce the risk of serious head injuries.
Wearing a helmet all the time would reduce the risk of serious head injuries.  Toddlers, especially tend to fall over and whack their heads when they've just learned to walk. Once Safekids turns their attention to this massive problem of toddler head injury, then no child will be safe.  Compulsory helmet from birth might be in order.

In the meantime, this sort of safety training at school could be helpful for those that see the helmet as a talisman against evil:

In case anyone's confused, while I am against mandatory helmet wearing for scootering and biking even, but I do think wearing a helmet is a good idea. However, I've never made my children wear a helmet while scooting and I don't think I could get them to anyway.  Which is the problem for those parents who want their child to wear one - no other child is wearing a helmet for scooting.  And if they are, they either put up with being made fun of or they stop scooting altogether.

So, I can sympathise with the parents who want the law to step in and make every child wear a helmet just so theirs won't be made to feel like a total dweeb.  However using the law as a bludgeon in that way makes for a really constrained society in which you aren't allowed to do anything without the law making sure you are doing it right.  This will create a false sense of security, a decreasing ability to judge relative risk (because everything becomes dangerous), and a people who eventually will not be able to do anything that requires initiative or courage.

Sean Plunket in Saturday's Dominion Post wrote on this issue, and his opinion was that the whole need for helmets on scooters was being exaggerated, and that it would be an excessive use of force by the State to mandate compulsory helmet usage for everyone on anything with wheels:
In the four-year period, 725 children were admitted to hospital with skateboard injuries and just 158 with scooter injuries. Boys between 10 and 14 were most likely to come a cropper on skateboards while boys aged 10 to 14 and girls 5 to 9 most often came to grief on scooters.

But the most surprising fact on Safekids' website was that head injuries were not the most prevalent injury for those hurt scooting or skating. Fractures were, with contusions, open wounds and internal injuries being cited as others. Head injuries didn't rate a mention.

Of course, the television coverage of this issue didn't bother to undertake that rudimentary analysis of the information made available by Safekids, I presume because it was more dramatic to show some photos of one boy's horrific head injuries and then some footage of him happily scooting with his helmet on. His mum dutifully parroted the buzz line Safekids had given me earlier in the day - "One injury like this is one too many".

That is an emotional argument which is hard to refute without looking like an uncaring bastard but forgive me if I give it a go.

Let's accept the only data we have for scooter and skateboard accidents shows that over four years a total of 883 resulted in injuries requiring hospital treatment, divide that by four and its around 220 a year.

We know most of those admissions don't involve head injuries but let's be generous and say 5 per cent do. That gives us around 12 head injuries involving scooters or skateboards and I suspect most aren't as serious as the boy on the telly.

I'm not saying the people at Safekids aren't well intentioned in drawing attention to those injuries but I don't think they justify legislation that would make a 4-year-old a law breaker if they didn't wear a helmet.

Such a law would, of course, be unenforceable, if not ridiculous, as traffic cops set up checkpoints outside school gates and launched blitzes on skate parks. Mind you it is the sort of thing Parkwise - the parking ticket contractors - would probably be more than happy to do.

So I'm not against compulsory helmets for skaters and scooters because it is nanny state paternalism or a breach of my individual rights but because it is using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut that could be dealt in myriad other ways.
A couple of days ago, when David Farrar commented on this issue, this somehow spawned a conversation on Adam and Eve when I protested that the commenter in question was blaming women for the tendency to enact excessive cotton wool legislation.

Yes, women tend to get highlighted in the media, because when a campaign of this sort gets going, there will always be a mother out there with a head injured child who wants something to be done, preferably a law change. There's no shortage of these people in New Zealand and they come in both sexes - they're not just women. You only have to listen to talkback and hear the number of callers who believe that the Government doing something will save everyone from the ills of life.

To say, however, that the feminisation of society is to blame for this (whatever the heck that is actually supposed to mean) is to ignore everything else that has been happening as well, which is the tendency for all of us to be bad to various degrees.

Related links: Helmet call for scooter users ~ Stuff

Education not legislation needed on helmets for youngsters ~ Sean Plunket, Dominion Post

Mandatory Scooter Helmets ~ David Farrar, KiwiBlog

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fletch Darwin's Catholic Great-Great-Great Granddaughter

Quite a good article in the Catholic Herald today by a direct descendant of Charles Darwin (who first proposed the theory of evolution). His great-great-great granddaughter explains why she is Catholic.

‘Are you related to the economist?” People sometimes ask when they see my surname. I explain that, yes, John Maynard Keynes is my great-great-uncle – his brother Geoffrey married Margaret Darwin, my great-grandmother. “So you’re related to Darwin too?” Yes, he’s my great-great-great grandfather. Eyes might fall on the cross around my neck: “And you’re a Christian?” Yes, a Catholic. “How does a Darwin end up Catholic?”


My journey back to faith was as much a movement of the heart as a thoroughgoing intellectual inquiry. It had to be both: if my ancestors’ lives trouble faith then as their descendant I couldn’t but confront the issues head on. That I freely chose to be a Catholic after much thought and analysis, and wasn’t brainwashed into it, baffles my friends and family alike. I overheard one comment: “But she seemed like such an intelligent girl.” So when people ask “A Darwin and a Catholic?” what they’re saying is that I confound expectations. They expect an understanding of science and philosophy to be incompatible with religious belief. Inevitably, that makes me a target and people want to argue. It can feel unpleasant and unsought but abdicating responsibility for answering those difficult questions is not an option for a baptised Christian.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” said St Catherine of Siena. I happen to be a Darwin, a Keynes, and a Catholic – and I can’t pretend not to be any one of those things. I can only embrace my calling in its complexity, and use what I’ve been given apologetically. Partly because apologetics has been thrust upon me by virtue of who I am and whose DNA I carry, and partly because it’s important to develop arguments that convince in a culture dominated by the ethic of autonomy I applied to Catholic Voices, which offers training to Catholics called to defend and explain the Church in the public square. Catholic Voices does vital work in speaking to a culture dominated by secular values, and in resisting attempts by the media to frame Catholic speakers in certain ways.

The journey about how she left the faith and then returned. Well worth a read.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

ZenTiger Civilian 2 write shorter jokes

Satire site "The Civilian" has announced plans to follow in the footsteps of Twitter and limit satire to 140 characters, just for a laugh.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lucia Believing in God is far more rational than Atheism

God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?


The conclusion that God exists doesn't require faith. Atheism requires faith.

Is it rational to believe in God? Many people think that faith and reason are opposites; that belief in God and tough-minded logical reasoning are like oil and water. They are wrong. Belief in God is far more rational than atheism. Logic can show that there is a God. If you look at the universe with common sense and an open mind, you'll find that it's full of God's fingerprints.

A good place to start is with an argument by Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th century philosopher and theologian. The argument starts with the not-very-startling observation that things move. But nothing moves for no reason. Something must cause that movement, and whatever caused that must be caused by something else, and so on. But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever. It must have a beginning. There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe, a first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.

Listen to the whole thing above, or read the rest.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lucia Author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind: Queering Education - It's worse than you think

Robert R. Reilly, author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind, has written an article on the goals of activists to normalise homosexuality through the education of children.

June 10, 2013 ( - The logic works like this: If homosexual acts are moral, as so many now insist, then they should be normative. If they are normative, they should be taught in our schools as a standard. If they are a standard, they should be enforced. And so it has come, and is coming, to be. Education is an essential part of the drive to universalize the rationalization for homosexual behavior; so it must become a mandatory part of the curriculum.

The infiltration of higher education by LGBT studies is well known. However, less attention seems to have been paid to the effort to spread LGBT propaganda in elementary schools and high schools. Because of the young ages of students K through 12, the introduction of pro-homosexual materials has required a special sensitivity from those who are trying to get away with it. They must avoid the explicit nature of the LGBT courses offered at the college level and disguise the effort in terms of something other than what it really is. Therefore, they use a stealth approach under the cover of issues such as school safety, diversity, and bullying.

One of the primary organizations involved in spreading the rationalization for homosexual behavior in elementary and high schools is the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), begun in 1990 in Massachusetts. According to its mission statement, GLSEN “strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike”.

The statement sounds fairly anodyne, though its clear purpose is to make homosexuality acceptable, and for good reason. GLSEN’s founder, homosexual activist Kevin Jennings, spoke at a homosexual conference on March 5, 1995, titled "Winning the Culture War", in which he laid out the rhetorical strategy for success. It is worth quoting at length for what it reveals about the agenda. Jennings said:

"If the Radical Right can succeed in portraying us as preying on children, we will lose. Their language – 'promoting homosexuality' is one example – is laced with subtle and not-so-subtle innuendo that we are 'after their kids.' We must learn from the abortion struggle, where the clever claiming of the term 'pro-life' allowed those who opposed abortion on demand to frame the issue to their advantage, to make sure that we do not allow ourselves to be painted into a corner before the debate even begins. In Massachusetts the effective reframing of this issue was the key to the success of the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.

"We immediately seized upon the opponent's calling card – safety – and explained how homophobia represents a threat to students' safety by creating a climate where violence, name-calling, health problems, and suicide are common. Titling our report 'Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth,' we automatically threw our opponents onto the defensive and stole their best line of attack. This framing short-circuited their arguments and left them back-pedaling from day one. "

So successful was Mr Jennings in his framing operation that he was appointed in the first Obama administration to the position of Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, in the Department of Education. The irony was not lost on 52 members of Congress, who wrote to President Obama requesting that he rescind the appointment because Mr. Jennings had, as the letter stated, “for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda”. Mr. Obama did not do so, and Mr. Jennings served in the position for two years.

GLSEN’s mission of promoting a safe and supportive environment for students of all sexual orientations means providing the approval of those orientations. In the Safe Space Kit: Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students, GSLEN provides an examination of conscience for those wanting to be allies to LGBT students. Here are some of the searching questions: “If someone were to come out to you as LGBT, what would your first thought be? Have you ever been to in LGBT social event, march or worship service? Why or why not? Have you ever laughed at or made a joke at the expense of LGBT people?”

With an Orwellian touch, the Safe Space Kit advises that, during casual conversations and classroom time, one should “make sure the language you are using is inclusive of all people. When referring to people in general, try using words like ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ or ‘husband/wife’, and avoid gendered pronouns, using ‘they’ instead of ‘he/she’. What’s wrong with referring to a man as “he” and to a woman as “she”? Well, the glossary helps us to understand the definition of gender as “a social construct based on a group of emotional, behavioral and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex”.

Read more: Queering education: it’s worse than you think ~ LifeSiteNews

In New Zealand, all of this not yet that advanced, though the infrastructure is currently being put into place, so that ten years from now (though probably less), everything that has been written above by Robert Reilly will be directly experienced by those that have children in the schools.  Mine will be grown up by that point, so I won't know directly what's going on until I have grandchildren. 

So far, where we are at is the Cabinet Paper on Harmful Digital Communications, which talks about online bullying and the need to have an agency for the bullied to report to, and a Ministry of Education website that has a section which defines bullying.  It's all very vague, in that typical education new speak that might be almost meaningless as it dances around what it's trying to say. Now all that is needed is for people like this HandMirror writer to get herself into an advisory position and we'll be on our way.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lucia Kitchen renovation update

An awesome granite bench was installed last week. It was probably more than a little frivolous, but it just looks so amazing. The picture doesn't really do it justice, unfortunately.

Yeah, I'm still working out which height I want the drop down green lights to be. They're not easy to adjust if you're doing quite a big change, as that involves undoing the light fitting from the ceiling and pulling down some more string that is generally more than a little entangled with the wiring. The really hard part is getting everything back in and then twisting the whole fitting into place.

No tap yet, that's coming tomorrow and then I need to organise the plumber to do it and the dishwasher and the insinkerator. I'll have to check if it's better to wait until the glass splashback is installed. Tomorrow, and abysmal shelf that wrecked the architrave of the small window will be fixed, so after that can get the splashback guy in.

My fridge is still a couple of rooms distant from the kitchen, as I need skirting installed first. Hubbie is working on those. Though, we'll have to buy a new fridge sometime soon, as the old one is now thirteen years old and has the occasional leak, and it's door can open if there's too much in the door. I don't want any leaking on my new bamboo floor.

I can't wait for it all to be finished so that I can stop thinking about it!

UPDATE: Commenting has been disabled on this post due to spammers.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fletch Valedictorian Defies No Prayer In School Rule - Says Lord's Prayer

After his school (like many others) was bullied by the ACLU in America to disallow a prayer at his high school graduation, Roy Costner, who was to give the valedictorian speech, tore it up and instead said the Lord's Prayer to huge cheers from those present. We need more people like this.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lucia Are National trying to buy Tuhoe off?

It seems bizarre to me that the National Government has just signed another deal with a Maori group whose ancestors joined in with the murderous rampages of the infamous Te Kooti. No mention of that in the Prime Minister's speech, nor in the Stuff article on the settlement.

What's more, a PHD student in the Waikato has had his script on Te Kooti picked up by the Maori film development unit, Te Paepae Ataata. A feature length film will be out in about six years. Great, it will probably try to glorify the man.

Not PC has post up on the actual history of Tuhoe and their involvement with Te Kooti and why the Government of the time confiscated their land.

Imagine, if you will, that a savage murderer has been moving up the country, and he's heading your way. He seeks refuge in your large, rambling property (which you share with extended family). Instead of either handing him over or doing him in (in both of which you would be justified), you and your whanau choose instead to join him in his savagery and plunder, heading out on expeditions of rapine and looting before coming home to hunker down in the least accessible parts of your refuge to fend off John Law, who naturally wants to put a stop to your lawlessness and brutality.

The law decides the safest way to stop you and your partner in crime is to starve you out, a strategy that meets with success—but whose perfectly justifiable results a century-and-a-half later are used to justify further pillage, this time of taxpayers apparently ignorant of the reasons for the original dispossession.

This is the short history of what happened when Tuhoe gave refuge to stone killer Te Kooti before joining in enthusiastically in his genocidal killing sprees—for which you and I are being punished now for the punishment that was meted out to the killers then.

Which is why I'm wondering if National is trying to buy Tuhoe off. Give them some of what they want, and hope they settle down and stop agitating. And also hope like heck that the people of NZ don't actually read the history.

Lucia IRS Scandal in the US - Conservative and Christian groups targeted since Obama took office

And now, another agency is being accused of targeting conservative groups: EPA accused of singling out conservative groups, amid IRS scandal:

The allegations concern the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests -- allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones.

The allegations are under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is also holding hearings on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups.
I wonder what the outcome of all this will be.

ZenTiger Dan Brown's Inferno gets a gentle roasting

A hilarious review of Dan Brown's "Inferno". Well, more like a gentle roasting, and it comes out "well done", something rare in this medium:
The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was swamped in a sea of mixed metaphors. For some reason they found something funny in sentences such as “His eyes went white, like a shark about to attack.” They even say my books are packed with banal and superfluous description, thought the 5ft 9in man. He particularly hated it when they said his imagery was nonsensical. It made his insect eyes flash like a rocket.
The whole article is well worth a read. Meanwhile, it brings back my memories of a conversation with some-one on Catholicism. As the conversation moved further and further away from reality I ended up exclaiming "Your view of Catholicism seems entirely founded on the Da Vinci code".

"Oh, but it is", he replied earnestly. "It's all true".

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lucia Will intimidation be enough to get same-sex marriage past the Lords in Britain? [UPDATE]

Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Protest in France - one million turnout

The politics around same-sex marriage is really interesting. Unlike other real civil rights issues, this one is being entirely driven by the elites responding to a small, but vocal lobby group of activists. It is opposed strongly by large percentage of the population in most countries where it has been passing lately, yet this does not seem to slow down it's progress despite the electoral kiss of death it confers. As Brendan O'Neill explains:

Throughout modern history, big, democratic, civil rights leaps forward have had two things in common. First, they were demanded by very large and often very angry sections of the public; and second, it took ages and ages for the political classes to concede to them. And when they did eventually cave in and legislate for the new liberty or opportunity being demanded by the hordes, they tended to do so begrudgingly, often while wearing a sneer...

...The gay marriage campaign absolutely eviscerates that view of social progress. It turns it completely on its head. It redefines social progress to mean the polar opposite of what it meant for most of the modern period: no longer the struggle of the man in the street against illiberal officialdom, but rather the struggle of right-on officials against the prejudices and idiocy of the man in the street.

France has just passed same-sex marriage laws despite massive, public, vocal opposition that just won't let up, and now the President's approval rating is the lowest yet for any French President ever - only 24%.

Now, I read that in Britain, Anglican Lords are being threatened if they don't vote for same-sex marriage to pass (hattip WhaleOil). This is after Tory Catholic MPs wrote to the Lords saying that they were pressured to vote the same way, even though they supposedly had a free vote.

The question really is, will the Lords allow themselves to be intimidated? We'll find out soon.

UPDATE: UK Lords overwhelmingly vote for gay ‘marriage’ bill: pro-marriage campaigners not giving up

Related links:
Congratulations, gay marriage campaigners – you have completely destroyed the meaning of social progress ~ Brendan O'Neill, The Telegraph
Hollande's popularity hits new lows after a year at France's helm ~ The Christian Science Monitor
Bishops under pressure to abstain in gay marriage vote ~ The Telegraph
MPs urge Lords to block gay marriage Bill after ‘sham’ free vote ~ Catholic Herald
Pro-marriage revolution building in France: up to 1 million march ~ LifeSiteNews

Monday, June 3, 2013

ZenTiger Throw the book at them

Things are rotten in the State of New Zealand. Just glancing down the Scoop headlines for today leaves a sickening feeling that there's just a little too much "sick and twisted" out there.

An Invercargill man today admitted sexually violating an 8-year-old girl at Oreti Beach this year. Jordan Storm Pavlovich, 21, who until today had name suppression, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips in the Invercargill District Court and admitted sexually violating the girl on February 2. [Link]

10 years, minimum. He gets out age 31. But there is a twist to the story - He's married and step father to young children. Are they safe? The mother thinks so, because he was apparently high on a legal cannabis substitute - K2. Looks like there needs to be an investigation into side effects for this "safe" drug. If the excuse holds up in court, then even more so. Meanwhile, at the other end of the country:

Two Auckland men have been left bloodied and bruised after allegedly being attacked because they were gay. [They] were walking down Howe St when they were berated by two men at a bus stop. The men repeatedly called Whatman and Kirdy “faggots” and then attacked the pair. [Link]

Well, the good news here is that other people in the area came to these guys rescue, and the police now have the two bigoted thugs in custody. Throw the book at them. Three years, minimum.

A teen remains in a critical condition after a factory fire in Rotorua which killed a 14-year-old girl early on Sunday. [Link]

This one is not so clear. It looks like the fire was deliberately lit after a fight. One dead, one critical and others with severe burns. Could be manslaughter, and a full investigation is required. If the fire was deliberately lit, there is a life to pay for and severe trauma for multiple people. 8-15 years.  Throw the book at them.

If I can track these stories further down the track, I'll blog what the sentences actually were.  Hopefully,something more than a month of home detention. What's your guess?

ZenTiger Mother insists she is a father and nags school board to prove it

Fatherhood Banned Here
A father-son bonding session planned by a North Island primary school was cancelled after a single mother demanded to be included. Two "Band of Brothers" seminars were arranged by Matakana School to help fathers get more involved in their sons' lives, and as a forum for dads to share their issues. One session was for dads and another was for fathers and sons. A solo mum wanted to attend but was told she couldn't because her presence would inhibit discussion. She was told a mother and son seminar was planned for later in the year.

"We really just wanted an opportunity for the guys to open up and chat, and they wouldn't particularly want to do if there were females around - which I think is understandable," said principal Darrel Goosen.

The woman's son was welcome at the second seminar and the guest speaker offered a specific session with her and her son but she continued to insist on attending, Goosen said, so the school board decided to cancel the event.
A solo mother wanted to pretend to be a father. She isn't, wouldn't accept a compromise, so the event got cancelled. I think the mother was in the wrong here. Fathers are different from mothers, and mother and father provide complementary roles. The fact that many people view the terms as interchangeable, or irrelevant, or "discriminatory" is a sad indictment on society, and she comes out looking like a nagging shrew guilty of the sin of envy.

What is also poor was the reaction of the school board, not only cancelling the seminar rather than just turning her away, but then issuing an apology: "In hindsight we realise we may have offended some single parents, for which we apologise, as this was never our intention," said a school note to families. . Fantastic - it's now somehow offensive to organise father-son events, and to trumpet a two parent family in the face of a single parent family (although even then, I note the father could be living apart and such events like this may help improve contact between father and son - but it sounds like for this particular mother, the father isn't around).

Cancelling the event because of this one women's complaining is absolutely ridiculous, and the school board should be fired for its capitulation to political correctness.

Unfortunately, I suspect that this kind of issue will never arise again with this school board - having run into a smidgen of conflict, they show they will abandon all principles, and were not really genuine about running such positive programmes, and instead will quietly squash all future initiatives. Because they are wimps. This is the NZ we are building. Shame on them.

Father-Son event cancelled after mother nags school board and they wimp out

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lucia Inappropriate restraint of child - should be satire, but it's not

There was a very disturbing story in the Dominion Post earlier this week that I noticed elicited very little comment online and on talk-back radio this week, even though it was mentioned on talk-back at least. That was the story of a young woman being banned from and childcare centre for "inappropriately restraining a child". Her crime? She stopped a child from hitting another child, and this lead to her being banned from the centre.

A woman has been banned from a Wellington childcare centre after a Ministry of Education staff member saw her "inappropriately restraining" a child.

Even though the woman, in her 20s, was neither a parent nor a staff member at Miramar's A'oga Amata Childcare Centre, the ministry is continuing to monitor the Samoan community centre.

A ministry spokeswoman said a staff member saw someone "inappropriately restraining" a child during a visit to the centre on April 23. The child was not hit or hurt, but the ministry staffer immediately told the centre's head teacher and the woman involved was banned from the centre during opening hours.

The centre was not closed, and no further incidents had been reported, the ministry said.

"We are continuing to monitor the centre to ensure all children are safe."

The centre's management committee chairwoman, Tuitama Leaupepe, told The Dominion Post the incident was a "wakeup call".

The daughter of the centre's supervisor had been on the floor with the children and was seen "stopping" a 4-year-old boy from hitting another child by putting her hand on his arm, she said.

However, she did not see the incident, so could not be sure.

The woman was spoken to by the ministry staff member, asked to leave, and told not to come back again.

The centre had assured the ministry such an incident would not happen again.

"It was unlucky that ministry were here on the day," Mrs Leaupepe said. "Of all of the days she had to come in and do something like that. It does not put us in a good light."

The centre had a no-hitting policy, but staff usually told children verbally to stop if they were found to be "rough-playing".

There were 25 children enrolled at the centre, which had four registered and qualified teachers and one awaiting training, she said.

An Education Review Office report in March said A'oga Amata Miramar Inc "is not well placed to promote positive outcomes for children" after areas for improvement identified in 2009 had not been dealt with.

Although there were some good systems and processes in place, a lack of positive communication and cohesion between the management committee and teachers was evident, it said.

The ministry was aware of other issues identified in the ERO report, and it was now working to support the centre with additional help.
Every time I re-read the article that I have quoted in it's entirety above, it reads like a piece of satire to me - and yet it is not satire!

They say that, "We are continuing to monitor the centre to ensure all children are safe," and yet what they really is that they are making sure no one interferes with the whacking of children by other children, because that is what children do in their natural environment and interference in that is wrong.

They have a no-hitting policy, so if little Johnny is trying to punch little Timmy, all they will do is ask little Johnny very nicely to stop and if he doesn't, they'll tell him he shouldn't have done that, and meanwhile, little Timmy has been hurt, and no one did anything physical to stop the violence against him.

One wonders what the staff would be expected to do it little Johnny was coming after little Timmy with a knife!  I can just imagine it.  No, Johnny, don't hurt Timmy, put the knife down.  Oh, you've done it now, see Timmy is on the ground and bleeding.  Maybe we should phone an ambulance, as Timmy is bleeding quite a lot.  Oh no, don't keep stabbing him, Johnny!

What's even more amazing, is that the anti-smacking law does allow for force to be used when it is to prevent harm, and yet the Ministry of Education seems to want to ignore that part of what is and isn't acceptable with regards to force with children.

This is a very, very, very disturbing story and needs some sort of action, like a kick in the backside of the Ministry of Education staff who are enforcing policy that is going to make preschool environments incredibly unsafe for children if the adults aren't allowed to even physically stop children who are about to harm another one.

Related link: Banned for 'restraining' preschooler